National WWI Memorial for DC Gets Blessing to Move Forward

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WASHINGTON DC: The effort to build a new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC gained a major endorsement today, from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA).

The support was a unanimous vote of approval for the updated design-concept for the Memorial. This vote came as part of a status-update presentation by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission’s memorial project team.

This presentation was a scheduled part of regulatory reviews of the memorial’s design concept by oversight agencies, which include the CFA, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), and the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC).

The main presenters were project landscape architect David Rubin, along with Centennial Commission Chair Terry Hamby and Commissioner Dr. Libby O’Connell.

The briefers gave updates to the overall vision for the memorial, and discussed different variations, which can be developed further, through future meetings with oversight organizations.

Reaction to the presentation reflected optimism toward the memorial project. CFA Commissioner Edward D. Dunson, Jr. stated, “I applaud the design effort that the memorial team brought forward. I feel prepared to go forward with the schemes that you have presented”.

The design process for the new memorial has closely followed the design-concept drawings that were unanimously approved by the CFA, NCPC, and NPS last year.

The World War I Centennial Commission leadership was pleased by the progress made at the CFA presentation. WWI Centennial Commission Chair Terry Hamby stated “We will continue to push forward in this effort. Our veterans deserve our best effort, and we owe it to them”.

WW1CC Commissioner O’Connell agreed “there were differences of opinion, today, to be sure, but we found great areas to agree upon, and to work forward from”.

The audience for the event was standing-room-only. Attendees included high-profile former officials, senior represntatives from major veteran service organizations, noted historians, and members of the art community. Among them were former U.S. Secretary of the Navy and U.S. Senator John Warner, former U.S Ambassador and U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun, retired U.S. Army Major General Christopher Leins, and dozens of other volunteers and project supporters.

Those attendees were joined in spirit by several hundred people across the country who wrote letters to the CFA, voicing their support for the memorial to honor these World War I veterans.

Since Congress designated DC’s Pershing Park as the site of the new National  World War I Memorial in 2014, the Centennial Commission has been collaborating with federal regulatory agencies to design an integrated park and memorial, honoring the more than four million American men and women who served in World War I.

The Centennial Commission is creating the National World War I Memorial through private donation. Founding sponsor for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, in Chicago. Other major supporters include the Starr Foundation, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, The Richard Lounsbery Foundation, General Motors, Huntington Ingalls Industries, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, and The American Legion.

The Commission plans to complete the design and construction of the WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in 2020.

For more information about the Memorial project and to donate to the Memorial design and construction, visit